.- Yesterday evening, at 6pm, the Holy Father and the papal household, entered into their annual spiritual retreat on the theme, "The Church at the service of the new and eternal covenant."
The Vatican announced that the spiritual exercises began in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel with Eucharistic exposition, the celebration of Vespers, an introductory meditation, adoration and Eucharistic benediction.
Bishop Renato Corti of Novara, Italy, is preaching the week-long retreat.
This being the Year of the Eucharist, the conclusion of the spiritual exercises will take place in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 19 with a Eucharistic concelebration, followed by a period of adoration.
Members of the Roman Curia, the vicariate of Rome and employees of the Holy See are all invited to attend.
The Vatican also noted that all audiences, including the Wednesday general audience are suspended for the duration of the retreat.